Coastal Voices was an umbrella project linking the arts and earth sciences through the concept of ‘the voice'. It encouraged and stimulated communities in the South West to connect to their ‘place', to examine and ‘voice' the unique relationship with the geology and forces which shape our environment, and also to explore the ‘voice' of the coast. It promoted international exchange and dialogue, and connected communities, amateurs and arts professionals. 1500 people were given the opportunity to perform and work with professional and international artists between March 2011 and August 2012.
Four new works/arrangements have been commissioned for four areas of the site, in partnership with communities representing these areas. Each piece has a duration of 15 to 20 minutes.
There were four vocal hubs:
- Poole/East Dorset
- Weymouth and the surrounding area
- West Dorset/Lyme Regis
- East Devon/ Exeter
The works are:
- a new piece written in response to the Jurassic Coast by Marc Yeats
- new arrangements of Nick Cave songs by Sonia Slaney
- a new song cycle by John K Miles (for B sharp) based on life stories of Lyme Regis residents, and previous work with Billy Bragg
- a new piece taking us through the Jurassic and Thomas Hardy to natural forces and links with Brazil by John Surman
Elements of the Sonia Slaney pieces were featured in River of Music in London 2012. All pieces were performed at the opening ceremonies for Olympic sailing events in Weymouth.
Coastal Voices was produced by Lighthouse Poole and Serious and supported by National Lottery funds through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Commissioning and production was supported by the Jurassic Coast through the Creative Coast 2012 project. Coastal Voices was granted the Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Inspire Programme.